Lunch at Ki Modern Japanese

To be honest, after my disappointing lunch at UBU yesterday, I was very hesitant to drop another large sum of money on lunch today.  However, one of my coworkers has been raving about Ki for the longest time, and apparently my friend S, whom I was having lunch with today has been here before and said they’re good, but small portions.  Since reservations were already made we may as well go.  Plus, this is my Birthday foodie week! I have checked out their menu before and noted a few things that I really wanted to try.

Ki is a HUGE restaurant.  It’s also very packed at lunch (but which downtown restaurant isn’t anyway? Oh wait, I can name a few…).  Anyhow, we were brought to a cozy booth where we were able to chat without being interrupted.  One server came by with a hot towel for us to clean our hands right away.  Shortly after, our server Tomo came by to take drink orders.  Besides the menu, they also have some daily features.

Cute soy sauce holder – the naive me thought it was to hold sake or something in case we wanted to order some… don’t laugh!

Here’s what we ordered today:

Sashimi Salad – $11

Yes, I had to get my greens in! A small plate of romaine garnished with atlantic salmon, yellowfin tuna, seabream, cooked shrimp and wakame salad.  Very standard ingredients, but the highlight was definitely the sweet & hot chili dressing.  It was only a tad spicy but enough to give you a kick, and very different than your standard dressing.  I ate everything – including the little wonton crisp cups!

Nigiri: Mutsu (Butterfish) – $7/2 pcs.; Suzuki (Sea Bass) – $6/2 pcs

S and I both had one piece of each.  I found that the Mutsu was a bit stringy – it was impossible to have a clean bite but the texture was very smooth and buttery.  The Suzuki had a firm and meaty texture.

Toro Tower – $19

I would say this was the most disappointing dish.  I was expecting chopped toro mixed with something on top of other things, like rice, avocado, something.  I was not expecting four small chunks of toro stacked on top of each other.  They were also seared, which we did not expect.  Because the piece was so small, all I could taste was the smokiness from the searing.  I did not get the buttery and melt in your mouth texture that I would expect from toro.  This was definitely not worth it in any way – I can get much better toro at a lesser price elsewhere.  Not only that, but it’s not the way I want to eat toro either.

Daily Feature: Black Cod and Steak Kushiage Bento – $26

This was my order.  I’ve always liked black cod and was very happy with the large piece.  The texture of course was buttery smooth, and the sauce it was cooked in was very light and delicious.  The salmon roe seemed like it was cooked on top of the fish, so they just all clumped together and I didn’t think it did anything for the fish.  The steak cubes were a bit tough, but they were juicy and not dry.  The napa slaw was very standard cabbage and other veggies in a vinaigrette.  The portion of rice was just enough for the fish and steak.

Daily Feature: Sushi & Sashimi Bento – $23

This was S’s order.  I was surprised by the amount of food in there, and was expecting smaller pieces.  S said they were very good and finished every single piece without any trouble.

I really enjoyed my meal at Ki today, with the exception of the toro tower.  Yes, it was on the expensive side.  Yes, we both spent a lot.  But, I left full and satisfied.  The food was fresh and delicious.  Service was really, really good.  I feel that the staff here really care about your comfort and satisfaction.  I can’t say if the premium price was worth it – all I can say is I had a great time and would definitely come back again.

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